The United States is experiencing a significant increase in the number of wildfires. Each year, wildfires take lives and burn numerous structures in areas known as the wildland-urban interface, resulting in mounting costs that have enormous economic and environmental impacts to the nation’s communities and businesses. Wildfires also have devastating impacts on the environment and damage forests, rangelands, watersheds and wildlife.
However, there are steps you can take to protect lives and property in your community.
Is your community at risk? A National Association of State Foresters survey found more than 44,000 communities are at risk of wildfire, yet less than 10 percent have a community wildfire protection plan.
Create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Having a wildfire protection plan in place is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your community from wildfire.
- Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Download this handbook sponsored by the Communities Committee, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Foresters, Society of American Foresters and the Western Governors’ Association.
- A Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This fill-in-the blank form will help you to identify the resources and strategies to protect your community. Just tab through the document and fill in the necessary information.
Help local citizens protect their homes from wildfire. View simple tips to reduce the threat of wildfire.
International Code Council Involvement. The International Code Council is involved in several broad-based initiatives to address wildfire safety.
- National Blue Ribbon Panel on Wildland Urban Interface Fire. The Blue Ribbon Panel/Summit, sponsored by the International Code Council, brings together more than 40 organizations that address wildland-urban interface fire issues at the national, federal, state and local levels. Wildand urban-interface fire protection issues are complicated and cross a number of mandates, regulations codes, standards and requirements. The panel will assess the effectiveness of the myriad of current U.S. wildland-urban interface programs and report the findings to federal agencies.
- Global Wildland Fire Alliance. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its partners sponsored this international alliance to stimulate improved fire management and reduce damage from fire worldwide. Fire plays a critical role in nature as natural land management, maintaining fire dependent ecosystems and providing important and cost-effective land use. It also causes deforestation, forest degradation, emission of greenhouse gases and destruction of livelihoods, biodiversity and infrastructure. The International Code Council and approximately 20 other founding-member international organizations will prepare a strategy to improve international cooperation in fire management.
- Wildfire Mitigation. This article originally appeared in the March-April 2004 issue of the Building Safety Journal.
- Wildland Interface Fire Safety. This article originally appeared in the August 2006 issue of the Building Safety Journal.
- National Incident Information Center. View a morning report of daily wildfire activities around the country, statistics and past year analysis at this site hosted by the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.
- National Interagency Fire Center. The nation’s national logistical center provides current specific wildfire information, statistics, prevention and education materials.
- InciWeb. The Wildland Fire and Incident Information System links directly to major wildfire incidents around the United States, showing the latest information as it comes in.
Wildfire Links for the United States
- American Red Cross
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Association of State Foresters (NASF)
- National Park Service
- National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
- National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
- National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)
- Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA)
- USDA Forest Service
- USFS Forest Fire Laboratory
- U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Western Regional Climate Center
International Wildfire links
- Australasian Fire Authorities Council
- Canadian Forest Service Fire Research Network
- Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre
- Eurasian Fire in Nature Conservation Network
- Global Fire Monitoring Center
- Fire Protection Association Australia
- New South Wales Rural Fire Service
- New Zealand National Rural Fire Authority
- International Association of Wildland Fire